SAFA NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL GUIDELINES
These guidelines are in a document which can be viewed by downloading the following file: Updated environmental code to follow.
Every member of the South African Feedlot Association undertakes to :
- Promote the image and the standing of the Association at all times
- Conduct business in an ethical and honest manner
- Implement fair and proper employment practice
- Promote a positive attitude towards fellow members in all dealings
- Further the aims and objectives of all members when representing the Association
- Practice humane production systems that are compatible with the environment.
THE FIVE RIGHTS OF ANIMALS
The five rights of animals are included to establish a humane environment for the handling and production of beef in intensive feeding systems.
The Right to Freedom of Movement
- The feedlot pens should be constructed according to specifications of pen area, per size/mass class, ground surface and climatic conditions.
- Feedlot animals should not be left in confined spaces such as races, squeeze chutes, dipping pens, arrival pens or sorting pens indefinitely where their movement is restricted.
- The pen gradient slope should be sufficient to allow maximum runoff and speedy drying off under heavy rainy conditions.
- Pen manure removal should take place routinely but at least annually.
The Right to Free Access to Fresh Feed and Water at all times
- Pen construction should make allowance for sufficient feed bunk space to allow optimum feed intakes daily.
- Fresh feed should be available at all times depending on moisture content which, if high, would lead to less feed more regularly.
- Feed bunkers and water troughs should be cleaned routinely.
The Right to Appropriate Health Care
- Purchasing of sick, deformed and injured animals should be avoided where possible
- All animals should be treated for parasites where necessary and inoculated (depending on origin and feedlot location) shortly after arrival
- All equipment used for treatment should be clean and instruments sterilized before application
- Sick animals should be pulled timeously from pens and moved to a hospital for treatment and observation by relevantly trained workers
- No treatment, feeding regime or practice which is detrimental to animal health should be permitted.
- Dust can cause and spread diseases and should be kept as low a level as possible.
The Right to Freedom from Injury and Suffering
- Excessively tired or sick animals should not be transported either to or from the feedlot.
- Seriously injured or terminally sick animals should be put down as quickly and humanely as possible
- Blind and deformed animals should be kept separate to prevent further injuries
- Handling facilities and loading ramps should be constructed to prevent animal injuries and bruising or abrasions.
- The use of damaged facilities and equipment should be suspended until repaired
- Workers responsible for health treatment, processing, loading and unloading of animals should be relevantly trained.
The Right to Freedom from Harassment
- Animals that are harassed by their pen mates, i.e. weaklings, injured or deformed, poor doers, riders, heifers amongst bulls and undersized animals should be removed and grouped accordingly.
- Personnel embarking on malicious ill-treatment, injudicious use of prodders and branding irons, beating with sticks or whips should be severely disciplined.
- Animals should be placed in appropriate size, age and sex categories when entering the production phase to avoid undue harassment.
The above rights of animals in intensive feedlot production systems are underwritten without reservations in the Executive Committee of the South African Feedlot Association.
CODE FOR FEEDLOTS
Aims and Objectives
To ensure standards and the use of good husbandry practices of animals in all types of feedlots, which are to be read with the Code of practice for the Handling and Transport of Livestock, the five rights of animals, and comply with the Animals Protection Act, 1962 (Act No. 71 of 1962) as amended.
- Feedlots shall, wherever possible, be founded on ground which has a mild slope, sufficient to ensure the rapid run-off of rain water to prevent the pens from becoming excessively waterlogged or muddy.
- To facilitate inspection , all pens shall be numbered or identified with a letter of the alphabet.
- Handling facilities and loading ramps should be designed and constructed to prevent animal injuries and bruising or abrasions and must prevent animals from falling or jumping off.
Area of Pens
- The feedlot pens should be constructed according to specifications of pen area per size/mass class, ground surface and climatic conditions, which criteria determine the minimum pen space per animal, which may not be less than 9 square meters per bovine and 2 square meters per sheep.
- Animals should be allowed to rest, with ad-lib food and water after transportation to feedlots, before any routine procedures are undertaken.
- It is recommended that animals arrive during daylight hours in winter.
- Blind and deformed animals and animals with young shall be kept separate.
- Animals that are harassed by their pen-mates, e.g. weaklings, poor doers, riders, heifers amongst bulls, ewes amongst rams, undersized, blind, etc. shall be removed and grouped appropriately.
- Animals shall be placed in appropriate size, age and sex categories respectively.
- Animals that become ill or injured shall not have to walk more than 400 meters and seriously injured or downed animals should be transported to strategically placed hospitals.
- Animals should not be confined in any area other than the normal pen, for longer than is necessary to perform the procedure being undertaken, e.g. dipping. All procedures must be supervised at all times by trained personnel.
- Pen manure removal should take place routinely but at least annually.
- All personnel working with the animals shall be readily identifiable, suitably trained and skilled in order to perform their duties competently.
- Strict or severe discipline should be imposed upon personnel for malicious ill-treatment, injudicious use of prodders and branding irons and beating with sticks, metal rods or whips.
- Shouting, kicking, tail-twisting, lifting sheep by the fleece, hitting of animals or similar methods are unacceptable.
Feedbunk and Water Supply
- Water troughs should be sited in relation to feedbunkers in a position in which they can easily be inspected and where the animals cannot easily foul the water with feed still in their mouths.
- Fresh feed should be available at all times, depending on moisture content which, if high, would lead to less feed more regularly.
- Feedbunkers and water troughs should be clean at all times.
- The water supply should always be fresh, clean and sufficient for requirements.
- Dust can cause and spread diseases and should be kept at as low a level as possible.
- Purchasing of sick, deformed and injured animals should be avoided where possible.
- Injured, sick or excessively tired animals shall not be transported to or from feedlots.
- All animals treatment procedures should be undertaken only by suitably trained and competent personnel.
- All animals, where necessary, shall be treated for parasites and inoculated (depending on origin and feedlot location) shortly after arrival.
- All equipment used for treatment of animals should be clean and instruments sterilized before application.
- No treatment, feeding regime or practice which may be detrimental to animal health or welfare should be permitted.
- Seriously injured or terminally sick animals shall be destroyed quickly and humanely.
- Contingency plans to cope with emergencies should exist.